Our forests are vital to our communities here in Eastern Washington, especially those rural communities that rely on the industry forests provide. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, timber production has drastically fallen on federal lands. This has devastated the tax base, virtually eliminated revenue sharing for essential services, and led to catastrophic wildfires due to a lack of proper forest management.
The FORESTS Act of 2019 will encourage active forest management on federal forest land by creating Forest Active Management Areas (FAMAs) in each unit of the National Forest System. These areas will allow for commercial forest management through a collaborative process. The legislation will also incentivize local collaboration and decision-making within our national forests. We’ve seen success with this type of local collaboration, as seen in the Colville National Forest A-Z Project.
Additionally, the FORESTS Act of 2019 will extend the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination program through the Fiscal Year 2020 to provide critical funding to timber-dependent communities for essential services.
Read the full text of the bill by clicking here.